Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Matzo Balls - just another dumpling?

Inspired by my Jewish Brisket I decided to make Matzo Balls for the first time. The funny thing was even though I don't ever remember making them before, I had a package of Matzo Meal in my cupboard. Must have needed it for some recipe... anyway they did turn out nice and fluffy, not too heavy, but I've decided I'm really a southern-style dumpling person at heart and as far as Chicken and Dumplings go, this would not be my favorite. I take that back, if I was sick I can see these tasting better. I guess that is my point; they felt a little like something you would eat when you didn't want anything rich or heavy because you were sick in bed. So, if you need to make something for a sick friend - I recommend this! Otherwise, go with my previous dumpling recipe... and I will post others.

Matzo Balls serves about 3

2 eggs
2 tablespoons chicken fat (I made my own broth by simmering a chicken with vegetables, let it sit in the fridge overnight, then scraped the fat off the top and used that - if you don't make your own broth, just use margarine or vegetable oil)
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
teaspoon each of fresh chopped parsley and chives
about 4-5 cups chicken broth

Beat eggs, fat and broth together in a bowl. Add matzo, salt and herbs until it is blended. Let sit in the fridge for about 30 min. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and drop the balls gently in - I did this by using a small ice cream scoop as they were pretty sticky and that way they didn't get too compacted. Otherwise, with wet hands form 1 inch balls - although I promise my method was less messy! Turn down so it is lightly simmering and let cook about 30 min. Remove with a slotted spoon. At this point you can refrigerate them for a few days or eat right away with some chicken broth.

Personally, I like a thicker gravy and chunks of chicken, but hey, maybe you know a sick person...

Oh - the story I alluded to in a previous post- not that exciting, and maybe why I'm "prejudiced" against them (Matzo Balls that is!) but... one xmas we went up skiing with some Jewish friends and one person didn't ski so she said she would stay home and cook dinner for the rest of us. Needless to say after a long day of skiing we were starving and when we came home to our "xmas" dinner we were served bowls of Matzo Ball Soup - not as a starter, but as the whole meal. Not exactly my idea of a hearty apres ski dinner! Ever heard of a roast chicken? Brisket? Potato Pancakes?

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